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Summary: The Lord Jesus gave us key principles of success in the parable of the sower and the seed. Let us ask God for wisdom in applying these timeless truths to our lives, relationships and ministries.

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Keys to Success (Mark 4:1-21)

The Lord Jesus gave us key principles of success in the parable of the sower and the seed. Let us ask God for wisdom in applying these timeless truths to our lives, relationships and ministries.

Illustration - Last week a Taiwanese tourist visiting Australia was so engrossed by her facebook page on her smartphone that she literally walked right off the pier plunging twenty feet into the icy waters of the ocean below. Rescue workers were called and after spending twenty-minutes treading water, while clinging to her smartphone, she was saved. Sadly, many people are distracted, to their own peril, by the worries, riches and pleasures of this life never producing the fruit that God desires for all people.

The following are some of the important principles of success taught by the Lord Jesus Christ in the parable of the sower and the seed:

1. SEED - God says to all of us, "So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." (Isa. 55:11) When we sow the seed in a contextualized manner it will always bear much fruit and prove that we are His disciples. (John 15:16)

2. SUPPLY - Paul wrote, "My God will supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19) We can be assured that the Lord will supply us with all that we need when we are doing His will in dispensing His word to a needy world. Let us remember the song, "Every need His hand supplying. Every good in Him I see. By His grace divine relying. He is all in all to me. All that thrills my soul is Jesus. He is more than life to me. And the fairest of ten thousand. In His blessed face I see.

3. SUCCESS - God told Joshua, "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate on it day and night that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your ways prosperous and then you will have good success." (Josh. 1:8) Success in God's terms is always defined as being in the center of a person who meditates and applies God's word in all areas of their life, relationships, and ministries.

4. SOIL - Jesus said, "Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!" (Mark 4:8) Ask God to help you sow among the hungry hearts who are eager to learn and apply God's word in all aspects of their lives. Do not concentrate on those who exhibit the characteristics of the first three types of soils. "Feed the hungry, and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon." (Isa. 58:10) Often times children are among those who are most receptive, responsive and willing to receive God's word.

5. SACRIFICE - Anyone in farming knows that it calls for sacrifice in order to get the seed, nurture the crop and bring it to harvest. "Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don't know if profit will come from one activity or another--or maybe both." (Eccl. 11:6)

6. SALVATION - Present the message of salvation in simple terms that anyone can understand. Paul wrote, "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

A - Admit you are a sinner and need to repent of your sin and be willing to let the Lord Jesus change your mind, heart and lifestyle.

B - Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only substitutionary payment for the forgiveness of your sin by the power of His redeeming blood shed on the cruel cross of Calvary.

C - Confess Christ Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior inviting Him into your life to give you the gift of eternal life, to change you and make you the kind of person He wants you to be.

7. SOVEREIGNTY - Acknowledge that God is in charge of the entirety of life. Recognizes that He calls people to be saved knowing that some will reject His free gift of salvation as approximately 90% of the world still resides in the kingdom of darkness today. Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. (Matt. 7:13,14)

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